Tag Archives: children’s literature

#OwnVoices

20 Jul

In 2015, Corinne Duyvis suggested on Twitter, “Glad important discussions are being had. Would love to be able to walk away with book recommendations. How about a hashtag? , to recommend kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group.”

This was the beginning of a new hashtag that has become quite popular in promoting not only diverse books, but as Corinne suggested choosing diverse books written by diverse authors. And if you’re looking for more information about the hashtag, check our Corinne’s website and her views on #ownvoices.

We are continually promoting diverse books, but there’s something to be said about an author who writes with the experience of their characters that creates an even more authentic voice. Does that mean authors can never write about characters that are different from themselves? Definitely not, but research needs to be extensive and having readers or mentors look at a manuscript with a different eye, is important.

For example, my parents work with people with disabilities and growing up, this was very much my life. I tend to know more and see more injustice for this marginalized group of people than most, because of my background. But, that doesn’t mean that I’ve lived anyone else’s experience or should assume that I can provide a true, realistic voice to a character with a disability. It’s the subtlety of every day life that I personally have never experienced. That being said, I think it’s important to create stories that are as diverse as the world we live in and with research it’s possible to write a character an author personally is not anything like.

Check out this great article written by Kayla Whaley on Brightly about her own experience as a author with a disability and how that has influenced her own writing. I think it’s so important as a white, female librarian to keep this in the forefront of my mind as I suggest titles for my very diverse community. I’m thinking about how I can incorporate this even more into the work I do – not only one-on-one with patrons, but by creating booklists and book displays to promote #ownvoices authors and book titles.

If you’re working on something in your library or at home, let me know what you’re doing, I’m always looking for new ideas!

Must Listen: Book Lover’s Podcasts

22 Jun

get-booked-logo-e1441883061578I love the Get Booked podcast – it’s a book recommendation podcast where people submit questions for reading suggestions for themselves, as gifts, for their book club, etc. and receive suggestions from the hosts and Book Riot contributors. 9 times out of 10, I know very well that I’ll never read the books they suggest, but I love hearing about them – it’s a great way to hear about books from a wide-variety of genres and the ladies who host are so fun!

 

artworks_mediumIf you’re a kid lit author or illustrator and like to drink (both alcoholic and non) this is the group for you. I’m neither an author or illustrator, but I enjoy this podcast just the same – it’s fun to listen to other people geek out as much as I do about kid lit! They talk writing, interview authors, and in general have a lot of fun together – which is awesome!

 

downloadThis is a podcast hosted by a 5th grade teacher focusing on middle grade books. She talks classroom shop – always looking for ways to connect middle grade students to books they’ll love. My favorite part of this podcast is when she offers up suggestions and the format she uses is great – a quick overview of the story and three reasons why she loves the book. She’s got some great ideas to encourage readers and reading habits!

 

The-Yarn-logo-500-300x300The Yarn is hosted by Colby Sharp and Travis Jonker and each season has had a little bit of a different focus – but it’s always enlightening with a focus on kid lit author interviews. The first season of the podcast the guys focused on looking at Matthew & Jennifer Holm’s book – Sunny Side Up from many different angles – book designer, author, illustrator, colorist, editor and more.

 

These are just a few of the podcasts I listen to and if you’re looking for some more great examples, check out Brightly’s article, Press Play: 8 of the Best Kids’ Lit Podcasts (and a Few for Grown-Ups Too)!

 

Celebrating LBGT Pride Month

9 Jun

June is LGBT Pride Month and I definitely want to offer you some great titles to read, so you can check out my post from last year with a great graphic and titles for all readers! I’m really enjoying the fact that it’s becoming easier to find books with LBGT characters and as usual, my favorite are the books that don’t even “deal” with the topic but it’s just a matter of fact type of thing like, “the sky is blue and this character is gay.” It’s not something that needs to be discussed, it just is.

If you’re looking for more LGBT titles, check out the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table since 1971. This is a great place to look for true representation; titles that are well-written and portray he gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience. The Children’s and Young Adult Awards for 2017 went to Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan and If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.

2017 Anna Dewdney Read Together Award Finalists

29 Mar

llama.jpgThe first annual Anna Dewdney Read Together Award finalists were announced last week and I didn’t get a chance to post this yet, so here goes. Anna Dewdney, children’s book author and illustrator, most well-known for her series Llama Llama passed away last year of brain cancer at the age of 50. Sadly, much too soon for the children’s book world, but Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader created an award in memory of Dewdney that will continue her legacy for years to come.

The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award, “will be given to a picture book published in the U.S. during the previous five years that inspires empathy and connection and makes for an exceptional read-aloud.” Dewdney’s own books were about the every day trials and tribulations of a young child’s llama’s life in which you feel empathetic toward his plight, and they also made amazing read alouds with such a great rhyme and rhythm.

The finalists are:

  • Edward Gets Messy by Rita Meade, illustrated by Olga Stern (Simon & Schuster)
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson (Putnam)
  • Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Toby by Hazel Mitchell (Candlewick)
  • Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin (Holt)

The winner will be chosen during Children’s Book Week, a week to celebrate children’s literature and the announcement of the Children’s and Teen Choice Book Award at the end of the week. If you haven’t had a chance to read all five of these titles, stop by your local independent book store or local library to grab copies of them all to share with your family!

2016 CYBILS Awards

15 Feb

The awards have been announced! The CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Blogger’s Literary Awards) are announced on February 14th of each year. The award began in 2009 to “recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal.” The categories include:

  • Audiobooks
  • Book Apps (Currently Inactive)
  • Early Chapter Books
  • Easy Readers
  • Fiction Picture Books & Board Books
  • Graphic Novels
    • Elementary/Middle-Grade
    • Young Adult
  • Middle-Grade Fiction
  • Nonfiction
    • Juvenile/Elementary
    • Middle-Grade/Young Adult
  • Poetry
  • Speculative Fiction
    • Elementary/Middle-Grade
    • Young Adult
  • Young Adult Fiction

And now, for the winners of the 2016 CYBILS, congratulations!

2016 CYBILS.pngAudiobooks – The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog
by Adam Gidwitz
Read by Vikas Adam, Mark Bramhall, Jonathan Cowley, Kimberly Farr, Adam Gidwitz, Ann Marie Lee, Bruce Mann, John H. Mayer, and Arthur Morey.
Listening Library

Board Books – Cityblock (Alphablock)
by Christopher Franceschelli, illustrated by Peskimo
Harry N Abrams

Early Chapter Books – Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig (Book One)
by Polly Faber, illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
Candlewick Press

Easy Reader – Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends
by Tina Kugler
HMH Books for Young Readers

Elementary Non-Fiction – Giant Squid
by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Roaring Brook Press

Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels – Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Book 2) (Lowriders in Space)
by Cathy Camper and Raúl the Third
Chronicle Books

Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction – Shadow Magic
by Joshua Khan
Disney-Hyperion

Fiction Picture Books – A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Juvenile Non-Fiction – Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White
by Melissa Sweet
Harcourt

Middle Grade Fiction – Ghost (Track)
by Jason Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Middle Grade Non-Fiction – Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story
by Caren Stelson
Carolrhoda Books

Poetry The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
by Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books

Young  Adult Fiction – Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys
Philomel

Young Adult Graphic Novels – March: Book Three
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Top Shelf Productions

Young Adult Non-Fiction – Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
by Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland
Amulet

Young Adult Speculative Fiction – Illuminae
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

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